IFS scores low marks from candidates – again

Up to 200 successful CeMAP candidates were wrongly told they had failed their exam following marking errors at the Institute of Financial Services.

The mistakes were unearthed by an audit of a new question bank installed on September 2002. Checks found that the computerised marking system was making errors on two questions in CeMAP paper three and the CeMAP bridge paper.

Although the IFS says the mistake was identified “very promptly”, the error was still active until at least October 25. Candidates who were wrongly failed are being informed of their true results in writing. The IFS will refund its £60 re-sit fee where appropriate. In a letter to one candidate, the IFS says: “This was a technical error simply in terms of marking. The questions themselves and the examination as a whole were valid.”

A spokesman for the IFS says: “We&#39ve assessed every single examination where that question has arisen. Where it&#39s made any difference to the overall outcome of their score we&#39ve communicated that to the candidate, so no student has been disadvantaged.”

Andy Wilgoss, managing director of London broker Square Mile Mortgage Finance, employs one of the candidates affected. He says: “This has created a lot of stress for one of our top consultants. She took CeMAP 3 on 25 October and was notified incorrectly that she had failed. But it is admirable of the IFS to backtrack and acknowledge an error.”

At the IFS, a spokesman says: “We operate very thorough quality control. The fact that this affects less than 200 people from the 28,000 who have completed CeMAP so far puts it into some context.”

A different exam error put IFS in the headlines two months ago, when the institute was forced to distribute replacement CeMAP papers due to a mistake in the questions.